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The Bare Bones of Chiropractic

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

There are many misconceptions surrounding Chiropractic care and how it works. The concept is actually very simple and easy to understand. Many people still remain uninformed or worse yet have been misinformed about Chiropractic. The main focus of Chiropractic care is to restore and maintain proper nervous system function.

We live our lives through our nervous system. Seeing a beautiful sunset, running to catch a fly ball, the smell of a fresh baked pie, producing the exact amount of stomach acid to digest dinner and even the steady beat of our hearts are all expressions of our nervous systems. Your nervous system controls and directs every aspect of your being, so when it doesn't work right, you don't work right. When you don't work right, you're not healthy.

The central nervous system is so vital to our person, that it is protected by bone. The skull forms a protective cover for the brain. The spinal cord which is your information super highway of the nervous system is protected within the 24 bones of the spinal column. These 24 bones that make up our spine are called vertebrae. While these vertebrae are there to protect the central nervous system, they also function as support for muscular attachments to keep us upright and form our posture. They also must allow for proper motion to let us perform all the movements required in daily life. This is where problems may arise. We are very active beings and we often do things repetitively, whether at work or just a habit we have developed. These repetitive actions are a form of physical stress to which our bodies must adapt. When combined with various traumas such as contact sports or slip and fall accidents, as well as a whole host of other types of stress in our lives, such as chemical and mental/emotional stress, our bodies are forced to adapt. This can cause spinal bones to lose their normal motion or position. This upsets and causes interference with the nearby nerves. These nervous system disturbances are called vertebral subluxations. Subluxations are the main focus of chiropractic care. The Chiropractor is trained to locate and relieve subluxations in the spine. Regular visits will then maintain the spine and keep it free from subluxations. This is the beauty of Chiropractic care and the part that is so simple. The Chiropractor removes spinal interference and the body takes care of the rest. With proper communication between the brain and all the other tissues in the body restored, the nervous system is free to direct the healing process and make the body more capable of adapting to the many stressors in our lives. It really is that simple, the healthier your nervous system is, the closer to optimal health you will be and will remain.

The time required to correct vertebral subluxations depends on your individual health and wellness goals. Healing time varies from person to person depending on how well your body responds, your current level of fitness and how much stress you are under on a regular basis. There are many things you can do to optimize the healing process such as getting proper rest and adequate sleep on a mattress with proper support. Be aware of your posture. Bend and lift with your legs. Nourish your body with a healthy diet so you have all the raw materials it needs to heal and repair. Stay active and get some exercise to improve your overall level of fitness. Stretch on a regular basis.

Most importantly, make a commitment to yourself that you won't break. Establish better health habits, start by keeping your appointments. Each visit builds on the ones before to help us ‘wake up' your nervous system. Make regular Chiropractic visits a part of your health care plan and have your spine checked for subluxations. Remember how you ‘feel' is not nearly as important as how you ‘function'. We are all capable of optimal health; most of us just need a push in the right direction.